Health

Hinshaw: Alberta at "critical juncture" with 727 new cases Sunday

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19 in Edmonton on Friday

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, tweeted on Sunday that Albertans must act now with an eye toward the greater good.

"All that we have accomplished together is now at risk", Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said.

"If we don't take these kinds of simple measures and make these sorts of modest sacrifices to social life, the cases will continue to grow to a point where they may grow out of control and where the only options we have will be far more impactful on people lives and livelihoods".

"It's voluntary", Kenney told a news conference.

"We're not going to be sending out police to monitor this", said Kenney.

"This is appealing to people to exercise personal and collective responsibility so that we can avoid having to use more stringent measures".

With Saturday's new cases and deaths taken into account, Alberta has seen an increase of 1,646 new cases and 11 new deaths since Friday.

Here's the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Friday.

Five new deaths were also reported, bringing the provincial death toll to 357.

Roughly 40 per cent of positive COVID-19 cases in Edmonton and Calgary are now linked to household transmission and private gatherings. Red Deer last checked in at 63 active cases. The city and county, as well as the Municipal Districts of Fairview and Peace are all on the province's "watch" list, meaning the extension of the 15 person social gathering limit is in place for those communities. On Friday, these restrictions were expanded beyond Edmonton and Calgary to several other municipalities around the province.

In September, Hinshaw announced the province was looking into less-invasive methods for detecting COVID-19 infections.

Alberta has recorded a grand total of 33,504 cases of the coronavirus.

"These numbers are set to grow with the growing case count", Kenney said of the hospitalizations.

"These gatherings are the largest identified drivers of spread", Kenney said.

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